nevermind, i just totally misread what you wrote.
i'll chalk that up to the lack of junk food and caffeine in me today.
there are a lot of us, and you gaijin have to do what we want.
or else you will ahve to pay fair market value for your oranges!
Why aren't you down there at the march?
I think the reason why you have not heard anything about the views of the protesters is because the internet has not been the main forum in which many immigrants have come together. Radio, TV, and just word of mouth have been more effective.
There is also, I think, no one view encompassing the views of the protesters ... just as there is no one view encompassing those who are opposed to the immigrants and/or their protests.
in my case it's because I don't firsthandedly know any immigrants or communities full of illegal aliens who commit fraud on so many levels it makes your head spin.
most of the foreigners I've met have seemed really really nice and love America/Americans, are respectful to women and OTHER foreigners, and are just humble, down to earth, unmaterialistic people who are merely trying to survive.
but when I come across an immigrant I will let you know
Having been raised in Los Angeles and, more specifically, out in the valley in an area that is predominantly Mexican (legal and illegal) I completely agree with your impression of immigrants. I could similarly say the same thing about the Cambodian
immigrants refugees that I met.
As an aside, when researching labor costs for home improvements I have a bias towards Latina day labor (per my post on Casa de Latina in Seattle) not because they are cheaper but because I have a bias in favor of their work ethic (in part due to necessity and in part due to culture). Most people I know who have worked with first generation Mexicans (in construction or restaraunts, mostly) share this sentiment.
I can't argue for the protestors, but I support them fully.
I think it's important for them to mobilize and show people their value in our every day lives. In a country where most of us have grandparents or great-grandparents that were immigrants, it makes me pretty sick to see so much racist hostility towards one group. How come people aren't up in arms about all the asians coming in? Or the Europeans? At least in california, our economy is extremely dependent on the mexican immigrants. I'm not in support of giving them a free ride or free amnesty to come as they please, but to outright kick everyone out- including people who came here at a young age and have no other life is pretty sick. And would they only be kicking mexicans out? or would they crack down on other illegal immigrants?
The protests are important because they build awareness of how much we rely on these people. How integral they are to our every day lives. How they are our friends, our classmates, our coworkers...
I haven't been able to get a clear picture of what the purpose of the protests is, but if it's to raise awareness of how much we depend on illegal immigrants then I think that's a fair cause and adds a much needed light to the complexity of the topic. How this relates to a political agenda, though, is still confusing to me (since this is in response to political legislation).
The racism is not surprising to me at all. You ask why people aren't up in arms about the asians or Europeans, but the reality is that when those immigrants were pouring into the country the established citizens were also racist. Some of the best examples of racist laws can be found in San Francisco, for instance, targeting Chinese immigrants - especially after the railroads were built and we didn't need their labor anymore. Go back another century to New York City and you'll find strong racism against Irish and Italian immigrants. I'm not saying it's right but it's not surprising.
I think that's unfortunate is the fact that a problem with immigrants is translated to a racial judgment - but from what I've seen of the protests that is occuring on both sides of this issue (e.g., being opposed to illegal immigration is translated to being anti-Mexican).
The intention of these initiatives at this time is to energize and turn out the Republican base to support xenophobic policy and distract the country from the serious/dire real issues we face. I'm hoping to snag some new Democrats.
Ah, so it's politics as usual. Isn't that pretty similar to the logic behind most hot button issues such as gay marriage and abortion? Issues that the politicians themselves probably could care less about but which are a great way to polarize the electorate and distract from issues like foreign policy.
You know who are the worst? Mexican-Americans who have been here for a generation or two. Mike tells me about how, when he was younger, he'd go pick up guys at the Home Depot to work for his dad's agricultural/trucking business. Then, if his dad decided that they weren't working hard enough, he'd call INS on them.
I've lived in Mexico and I work in a town where about 10% of the people who live there are from Mexico and, let me tell you, these people bust their asses and are, in return, exploited and treated like some sort of expendable underclass. It pisses me off. I work with them and talk to them and they deserve so much better than to be scapegoated like this.
I totally agree with that. One of the reasons why I would rather hire from the day labor center isn't because it's cheaper (it actually isn't that much cheaper, contrary to popular belief) but because they work harder. Part of this is circumstance - given what I've seen from my time in Mexifornia and Mexico, however, I think it's largely cultural. Mexicans, culturally, have outstanding work ethic and are generally very honest (I wrote about this a bit from my trip to Central America last time).
Heh - just don't read the threads I linked to on my other post. Some of the ignorance there is unbelievable and will certainly make you angry.
this is only partially related... but err it does have a point so bear with me!
A while ago when I was still doing the restaurant circuit as my living I was at work during an immigration bust. Well being stupidly honest when questioned I told them I was not an American citizen and I had been born in Spain. So as far as immigration was concerned I was just dirt, I was yelled at and not allowed to sit. Now I am not Spanish and I am quite legal, but I didn't have my card with me... I had nothing with me at the time as all my stuff was in my locker and they wouldn't let us leave the room. When finally someone discovered I was in fact British I was allowed to sit down, people were strangely polite to me. As I sat there waiting for them to confirm my number etc. I watched them question one of my fellow workers, a nice looking chap who was 1/2 Venezuelan and born in the US, he of course didn't have his birth certificate on him, they didn't belive him and basically called him a lying dag to his face. The 3 mexican dish washers who could quite possibly have been illigal and didn't have a good command of the language, just got the physical treatment (hand cuffed and showed face first against the wall, like they could run anywhere). When my information cleared, I ws escorted out, bantered at and patted on the back... I was so shocked not 45 minutes earlier they had come short of spitting in my face. I know you mentioned that it can't be racism as Mexicans aren't another race... but race is a man made creation really and damn if that wasn't racism I'm not sure what is.
So my point (sorry to be so long winded) is that though I don't know the exact agenda of the rally, I understand that INS really needs some mayor reforms and there is a lot of racism in the system. This isn't jail where you get a phone call and a lawyer. I think most of them just want to be able to not fear that one day they'll be deported especially after they have made a life and family here. I understand that there need to be some immigration laws etc., but there should also be loop holes, especially for those who have lived here for years and especially for those who were brought as children and don't really know anything about their 'home' country.
The suggestion that Mexican is a nationality and not a race is a bit nit picky and ultimately disregards important considerations like this. Most people have never been in a situation where they are grouped together with criminals and so they don't understand how humiliating it is. It's easy to talk about "empowerment" (as I'm fond of) but when you're used to people seeing you as third class citizens (as are Mexicans) or criminals (as many blacks are) then it can really wear on you.
I've been in a few situations where I was accidently misclassified counter to my status as a wealthy caucasion male and it was eye opening. One instance was when I accidently brought a pocket knife (a very small swiss army variety) onto an airplane shortly after 9/11. After ten minutes of interrogation I was shaken and felt like a criminal, even though I knew I wasn't. And this is even though I knew I had an out: I have a lawyer, I have no questionable connections (you know, like family in the middle east), my father was waiting for me on the plane (and knew where I was), etc. And let's not forget the fact that I'm sure my treatment was 100x better than many people.
And this is nothing compared to what you describe.
I've known people who were born here legally but still fear the INS and carry excessive documentation for that reason. And if they're nervous, I can only imagine how first generation or, worse, outright illegal immigrants must feel.
As far as reform - my understanding of the proposed legislation (and I've only read parts of it, mind you) is that it accounts for different classes of "illegal", based on time spent here and place born. I believe most people born here are still considered citizens; I also believe most people who have been here more than five years are exempt from deportation. I believe people who have been here between 2-5 years have options for pursuing immigration and a timeframe before they're kicked out. So it's not as radical as some people have painted it out to be. Nonetheless, it's not as pragmatic as I'd prefer either and regardless, as you've pointed out here, there are other fundamental problems with how this is being enforced that need to be addressed.
a friend of a friend told me about someone whose brother heard from someone else .. etc. about an immigrant holding a sign that said "No Immigrants, No Burritos! Think about that!"
I think that expresses my thoughts on the topic rather succinctly.
Ha! I saw a photo of that guy - although I don't remember where (I think it was on The Seattle P-I site). I think it actually said "Mexican" instead of "Immigrants" which is particularly ironic since it's next to impossible to even find burritos in Mexico as they aren't exactly Mexican fair (although you do find them in Guatemala).